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Pistol Pete on field in Boone Pickens Stadium

America's Greatest Homecoming Celebration

Friday, October 22, 2021

OSU’s Homecoming is presented each year by the OSU Alumni Association and is planned by the student-driven Homecoming Executive, Steering and Big committees. The event attracts tens of thousands of proud alumni to Stillwater to partake in the festivities and reconnect with their alma mater. Homecoming activities include  Walkaround, the Sea of Orange Parade, Sign Competition, Hester Street Painting, Harvest Carnival and Chili Cook-Off, the Cowboy Celebration Pep Rally and the Homecoming football game. We’re excited and proud to finally celebrate OSU’s 100th Homecoming event, after taking a break in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Homecoming walkaround


OSU’s very first Homecoming was held as part of the Harvest Carnival in the fall of 1913, but it wasn’t until seven years later that the OSU Alumni Association hosted its first official Homecoming celebration. On Oct. 30, 1920, 90 Oklahoma A&M alumni returned to Stillwater for festivities including the Aggie football game. Ten years later, the first Homecoming Parade, a mile long, made its way down Main Street.




Thousands of alumni from across the country come home to see the huge house decorations built by the Greek community and residential halls. Students put in hundreds of pomping hours over two months to complete the house decorations on time. You can check them out on Friday night of Homecoming week (Oct. 29). You can also stop by the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center during Homecoming week to pomp a small piece of the centennial Homecoming logo on display!

DEFINITION: Pomping is placing small tissue paper into chicken wire using glue and pencils all while following a designed grid. 

homecoming, pomping house decks

Sign Competition

The Edmon Low Library Lawn is decorated each year for Homecoming with signs created by the Greek organizations, residence halls and campus organizations. Each sign reflects the group’s theme for Homecoming. The signs are judged and awards go to each of the three different communities. Signs will be on display throughout the week of Homecoming. Alumni, students and fans can vote for their favorite signs and other favorites in five other competitions in the Love’s Fan Favorite contest. TIP: Cast your vote on the Orange Connection app, and your vote will count twice!


Cowboy Celebration

Formerly known as “Homecoming and Hoops,” Cowboy Celebration is a redesigned event focused around celebrating student participation in Homecoming. Held on the Friday night of Homecoming during Walkaround, this pep rally will include many special guests and performances from Dr. Shrum and Grand Marshals Burns and Ann Hargis to Pistol Pete and the Cowboy Marching Band. Student groups will be presented awards for all Homecoming categories, except Walkaround, the Sea of Orange Parade and the Sweepstakes, which will be announced at halftime of the football game. Come join us at 8 p.m. on the Student Union balcony facing the Formal Gardens for the pep rally.


Sea of Orange Parade

Thousands of Cowboys pack Main Street in Downtown Stillwater to see the Sea of Orange Parade the morning of Homecoming.The parade consists of more than 140 entries by OSU Greek organizations, residential halls, student organizations, alumni and the Stillwater community. The parade is broadcast live by InsideOSU and the students of the OSU School of Media and Strategic Communications. The parade will begin at 9 a.m. at Ninth and Main streets and travel north on Main to Hall of Fame Avenue.

pete waving flag

Harvest Carnival and Chili Cook-Off

The very first Harvest Carnival was in the fall of 1913 and was the precursor to the Homecoming tradition we know today. This event is created just for kids in the community and provides fun, educational opportunities with games designed by OSU students. The Chili Cook-Off is Homecoming’s tastiest tradition and offers dozens of different recipes to sample created by residential life, student organizations and community organizations. One canned food donation per person is required for admission, and additional canned food donations are encouraged and appreciated for the Harvest II food drive.

homecoming walkaround at night

Hester Street Painting

Each year, Cowboy family members paint encouraging messages for the Cowboy football team and coaches to read on Hester Street during the Spirit Walk on game day. The OSU Alumni Association will provide supplies, and fans of all ages are encouraged to attend. Families are encouraged to arrive and begin painting at 5 p.m. Wednesday, while students should begin arriving at 5:30 p.m.


Homecoming Tailgate

You don’t have to wait until Saturday to tailgate for Homecoming! Students are invited to enjoy free food and entertainment provided by the Alumni Association the Monday night of Homecoming week. Bring your friends to the plaza between Kerr-Drummond and the Villages to get into the Homecoming spirit.


Event Schedule:

Sunday, Oct. 24 to Saturday, Oct. 30 — Sign Competition 
Edmon Low Library Lawn

Monday, Oct. 25 — Homecoming Tailgate
Kerr-Drummond Plaza, 5-7 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 27 — Hester Street Painting
Hester Street (west of Business Building), 5-7 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 28-Friday, Oct. 29 — Orange Reflection
OSU Residence Halls, 9-11:59 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 29 — OSU Study Abroad/National Student Exchange Reunion
Wes Watkins Center, 3:30 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 29 — Walkaround
Greek Neighborhood, 5:30-9 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 29 — Cowboy Celebration
Student Union Balcony, 8 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 29 — Homecoming & Hoops Remix
Beta Theta Pi Outdoor Basketball Court, 9 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 30 — Sea of Orange Parade
Main Street (Ninth to Hall of Fame), 9 a.m.
Livestream scheduled on Inside OSU

Saturday, Oct. 30 — Cowboy Corral Pep Rally: Kansas vs. OSU
ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center, 3:30 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 30 — Kansas vs. OSU
Boone Pickens Stadium


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